Hey there everyone!
I've been mulling over a few ways to use the Company Veterans for a while now and have come to the conclusion that they are a rarely seen but extremely powerful unit. This is a very rough tactica (also my first) to just give an outline of my thoughts hopefully someone can perfect it
I: What are they?
Company Veterans are part of the Elites section of your Dark Angels codex, they are often overlooked due to the new Deathwing Terminators and Deathwing Knights. They are one of the most versatile units in your codex and can outperform a lot of other units for a fraction of the cost.
II: Why are they Good?
What makes Company Veterans so good? Well that's easy, they're cheap. Dirt cheap for a Veteran, those stats normally come at a hefty 25 point mark in other codex's. Which is why at 18 points a model you save points on the models themselves to be able to give them the tools they need to accomplish what they need to get the job done.
III: What can they do?
Company Veterans can become with a little help the ultimate close combat Death Star or a Ranged pain in the ass with their Combi-Weapons. While I would say if you're taking Company Veterans with bolters you might as well ally in some codex marines and take Sternguard.
IV: So close combat is their Strength?
Yes these boys are made for close combat for 180 points you get 40 attacks on the charge. Nothing to sniff at lightly and with a few characters and special weapons can turn them into something nobody wants to face and enough staying power to keep fighting in protracted combats.
V: So you said Characters and Special weapons can make them better?
Yes two very Cheap characters can make a massive difference to this unit. The first is quite obvious, an Interrogator Chaplain with the Mace of Redemption causing blind and concussion and giving the unit hatred. The other is Ezekiel. His book makes the entire Unit WS5 (quite a big deal)and using powers like prescience can allow you to have re-rolls through protracted combats. If you score the 4+ invulnerable you've just increased the hardiness of the unit tenfold.
Onto the weapons. The best bit about this Death Star is that it's relatively cheap for what you're getting so keeping it that way is the best way to go. I prefer to stick with a pair of lightning claws, and a powerfist relying on the chaplain and Ezekiel to pull their weight. Give the unit a couple of meltabombs in case you come up against a lot of monstrous creatures or tanks.
VI: Transporting your Vets
Now with all Death Star units a land raider is really your only option to get them into the combat guaranteed. It's high armour and assault ramp allow you to get stuck in where and when you want to. The crusader variant is the most popular for its high capacity. If you lack anti-tank the standard land raider can be used but will require dropping two veterans.
The other option is a drop pod. Now this is inherently riskier as you can't assault and will have to soak up a lot of fire. And as Ezekial has moved because of the drop pod. Can't cast any of his powers. With this I prefer to move and run towards cover as you cannot go to ground as the unit is fearless.
VII: but what if I want to use ranged weapons?
Well the squad is still very good with ranged weapons either as a melta combat squading suicide squad and if they get assaulted can hold their own. With melta bombs they can become tank hunters even after using their Combi-weapons.
The Flamer or Plasma variants are good for clearing units off of objectives.
These guys are best transported in drop pods to keep your opponent on the back foot.
But for their cost of them with all combi-weapons you can get a stern guard squad with max combi-weapons. I love company veterans but Sternguard just do it better, they have more versatility.
These guys can do anything and everything you want give them the right gear and point them in the direction of the stuff you want taken out and watch it disappear.
2. They are a Spehs Mahreen!
Yep those great stats we know and love with an extra attack to boot!
3. Opponents will be wary of this unit and prioritise it over other things. Leaving the rest of your army to run amok.
4. Cheapest Veteran Stats
Cheapest veteran stats currently for marines and have better versatility then chosen!
Now their weaknesses;
1. They are just a marine.
Yep! Just a marine no terminator armour, no invulnerable saves. Just the good ol' 3+. Of course you can buy storm shields but that's ramping up their points cost. The thing about company veterans is that they are cheap. Best to keep it that way.
2. Get expensive fast.
3. Against dedicated melee units can struggle without the right weaponry.
If you don't give these boys some power axes or some form of ap2 weaponry a terminator unit will walk through them like a knife through butter. I'd you're lucky you can make it expensive for those terminators but this unit is best used to take out horde units or just kill things with their sheer amount of attacks.
4. One scary unit!
These boys will be at the top of the "kill that thing first" list so if you don't make it in. You're going to be pretty upset!
Company Veterans are often overlooked but can dish out the hurt for the same amount of points as your standard terminator squad or deathwing knight unit.
I'm not good at math hammering so if someone would like to do that then ease do.
This is my ideal unit;
Interrogator Chaplain - Mace of Redemption - 140
Ezekiel - 145
Company Veterans - Pair of lightning Claws - Power axe x2 - Meltabombs x2 - 250
It's expensive yes but what they can do is horrible putting Ezekiel out front with his 2+ and feel no pain is great too.
Well hope this changes some of your minds about Company Vets and hope to see some more on the table soon!